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CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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Stepfather died in 1996 with no will, he has 3 children and

Customer Question

Stepfather died in 1996 with no will, he has 3 children and mother wants to sell property. Does not know where the children live. The,property is in Louisiana
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Gerald, Esq replied 1 year ago.


Thank you for using Just Answer. I want to provide you the best service I can. Please feel free to ask any follow up questions you have.

I am an attorney with 30 years of experience; I hope to provide you information that will help you in resolving your question.

What property was this and do you know how the property was deeded? For example did they own the property as husband and wife?

I hope the information I provide is useful to you. I want you to be comfortable and satisfied with my attempt to assist you. Please, if you have ANY follow up questions, feel free to ask. Please note that I am generally unavailable Friday evening through Sunday.

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Good luck.

Please note: Information is educational and not given as legal advice. Only your local attorney can give legal advice. I can't establish or accept an attorney-client relationship with you. All posts are available for public viewing.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The deed has my mother's name and his 3 children's name. We have not heard from them in almost 20 years and have no idea where they live. We want to sell the property. Was told we had to get a lawyer and place a legal ad and then we could sell the property. What do we need to do?
Expert:  Gerald, Esq replied 1 year ago.


Thank you for the additional information. The fact that their names are ***** ***** deed complicates this greatly. Your Mom needs to file an action in Court to declare that the three children have abandoned their claim to the real estate and that the title to the property should be vested solely in her name.

This type of law suit is called a "Quiet Title" action. A Quiet Title action is not simple. There are many specific details and time-sensitive notifications that must take place. The process can take anywhere from six to twelve months. Quiet Title is usually used in TAx Sales, but it would be the process here too.

Your best bet is to use a Real Estate Attorney. You can use this link to find one:

The amount of information that you need to do this yourself is massive, and I do not have room to provide you a step by step process (it is too complicated). But if you visit a local law library, ask the librarian for the Forms books. The forms book has almost every legal form that you may need.

I am sorry that I can not provide more detailed step by step information for you. I can not even find a layman's guide on this for you.

Although I have provided you information that can get you started, I will opt out so that another expert may be able to assist you. The question will repost at no charge to you. No need to rate me on this question.

Good luck

Kind regards,


Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.
Dear customer, My name is Bill, I am another expert on the forum.
While I do agree that you can obtain title in a quiet title action, based on what you have posted here, you are a long way from that point.
Your mother must first make an effort to locate her co owners. This includes at a minimum hiring a process server or private investigator to do a search for them (often called a "skip search").
Once you find them, if they refuse to agree to the sale, your mother can force a sale by a "partition action", but more commonly a mediator is used to help facilitate this dissolution of ownership.
You can get referrals to both process servers and mediators from your local bar association.

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